I had also started to wonder about the name change as the Rev Joseph Ashton does not want to be found
I have searched for Joseph Ashton as a Minister, Reverend, Curate, Sexton, Preacher, Vicar, Rector and anything else I can think of but alas nothing - does anyone else find it odd that a man who has what I would consider to be a public role within the community is nowhere to be found?
Are there any other clues on the letter ie content, postmark?
To add and my apologies if you have this already but whilst searching the National Archives of Australia I came across a couple of service records which might be of interest:-
Jack/John Ashton 16th Battalion Father Thomas William Ashton - Religious Denomination C of E
Douglas Ashton 32 Battalion Father Thomas William Ashton - Religious Denomination Pres
Also I discovered that Alice Wilcock b 1864 Wibsey the daughter of Joseph and Hannah Ashton as shown in 1881
RG11 4603 7 7 married a George Henry Whike June 1885 Dist Bradford Y Vol 9b Pg290 they emigrate and can be found in the 1900/10/20/30 United States Federal Census in Canton Ward 1 Stark Ohio quite alot and more can be found on family search plus the baptism of their first son George Henry Whike bapt 1886 Methodist Great Horton York England and if you search for Alice Whike Ohio amongst the info you should also come across her parents names Joseph Wilcox and Hannah Lightower which I think should be Lightowler. They also appear here www.ellisisland.org
Not sure whether any of the above will help but it might assist you in your search for the very VERY elusive Rev Joseph Ashton
All the best
Hi Andrea - Yes I had noticed the other Wilcock family living next door but it was the bath of path conundrum I was having a problem with
All the best